Tough Talk
April 19, 2009

roseperkins

Kendrick Perkins had this to say about Derrick Rose:

“He’ll never have another game like that against us again.”

I wanna believe Perk. But after watching (or in my case – listening) to the C’s come out inexplicably flat in the home opener of a playoff series, I’m not sure what to believe.

Hey Perk: You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

Reminder to our regular readers: Dropping f-bombs in the post will get you in the spam filter. Since we don’t have time to check the filter regularly, your posts may never see the light of day. Thanks.


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Celtics-Bulls Series Preview
April 17, 2009

2 vs. 7

Series Schedule
Game 1: Sat, April 18 – CHI @ BOS – 12:30 pm ET
Game 2: Mon, April 20 – CHI @ BOS – 7:00 pm ET
Game 3: Thu, April 23 – BOS @ CHI – 7:00 pm ET
Game 4: Sun, April 26 – BOS @ CHI – 12:00 pm ET
Game 5: Tue, April 28 – CHI @ BOS – TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: Thu, April 30 – BOS @ CHI – TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: Sat, May 2 – CHI @ BOS – TBD (if necessary)


Regular Season Record: 62-20
Eastern Conference Seed: 2

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.5)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.2)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)


Regular Season Record: 41-41
Eastern Conference Seed: 7

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Ben Gordon (20.7)
RPG: Joakim Noah (7.6)
APG: Derrick Rose (6.3)
SPG: Kirk Hinrich (1.3)
BPG: Tyrus Thomas (1.9)

Celtics Keys

Close Off Penetration: The staple of the Boston Celtics a year ago was their dedication to team defense. They talked, they sacrificed, they made remarkably crisp defensive rotations, and they let the basketball world know that you are not going to win an NBA championship if you don’t commit to both ends of the floor.

Oh yeah, and last year’s club had Kevin Garnett at full strength. This year’s Boston Celtics do not, at least for the time being, as the team recently announced that Garnett’s knee has failed to respond to the healing process as smoothly as they would’ve liked. In fact, he may even miss the remainder of the season, no matter how far the Celtics go. The loss hurts in more ways than one, but the part Boston will miss the most is his defensive presence. Now, there is no defensive quarterback directing traffic and providing the most active roamer and second-line defender in the league. Kendrick Perkins is no slouch, but he can’t do it alone. That is why the perimeter defense becomes that much more important in this series.

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Accentuating The Positive
March 13, 2009

Ok, so things aren’t exactly going the way we want them to.  Some people, like John Hollinger, seem all to happy to focus on the negative… like the Celtics 22-14 record since Christmas.

But I’m a positive person.  The Celtics are only 2.5 games behind Cleveland, and they’ve hung around despite injuries to key players and the addition of two new guys.  And since we’re being positive today, here’s the positive spin on a few more things involving the Celtics right now:

  • Stephon Marbury

When Sam Cassell came in, he was just gunning like mad.  Stephon could have done the same thing, but he’s actually trying to fit in.  And isn’t that what we were worried about?  Don’t look at the short term results.  I’m ok with negative results in the early stages of a positive thing.  It’s like a little kid learning to shoot correctly with one hand after spending their whole childhood shooting that 2-handed push thing.  If they miss shots but used proper form, I’m happy.

The point is, if Stephon is missing shots because he’s trying to run our offense and do the right things, I’m happy.  It’s not about him making shots today.  It’s about him making shots a month from now.  He’ll get comfortable soon enough.  And once he does, things will start falling.

  • Injuries

KG’s injury wasn’t a case of any structural damage to his knee.  So this is basically an extended vacation that will benefit KG in the playoffs.

Brian Scalabrine is going to come back from what really could have been a career ending situation.  Really, what’s more positive than that?

Rondo and Davis are only missing a week with minor ankle sprains.  We’re going to go into April with a full squad, and hopefully some rest.

  • Home Court

This isn’t last year.  I hear blowhards yapping all over the place about how we should look at last year.

When has last year ever had a bearing on this year?  And even if we look at last year, wasn’t part of the story line by the end of the playoffs how the Celtics finally figured things out on the road?  The Celtics won games in Detroit and in LA… closing out both series in 6 games.  I thought that answered the questions.

But apparently not.  People want to focus on whatever makes their argument.  Forget that the experience gained from that will only make the team better.  Forget that they sorted out their roles late in the playoffs and actually won on the road.  Forget all that.  You want to be all doom-and-gloom.  You shouldn’t be.

  • Kendrick Perkins

The fouls are still a problem, but people aren’t talking about how he’s broken his habit of bringing the ball down.  And did you know he’s scored double digits in every game this month?

Yes, progress has been a bit slow with Perkins, but he’s making progress.  He’s become more of a threat offensively and a pretty good post defender.  He’s still got things to work on, but his hard work to correct some big things should be recognized.

So smile, Celtics fans.  Sure, it would be great to catch Cleveland, but it’s not the end of the world.  The Celtics are fine, and they’re only going to get better.  The rest of the league, and some people around Boston, might be in a hurry to start counting us out… but that’s a big mistake.

Herald:  Bill Walker gives support to Celtics Grizzlies-Celtics scouting report |  Globe:  Free and easyGrizzlies thumbnails |  Milford Daily News:  Busy stretch ahead for C’sLakers beat SpursCavs win |  Daily Dimes:  Flaws with the top contenders

Karl’s A Perk Fan
March 8, 2009

perk-block

This came completely out of nowhere… but it’s actually kinda funny the day after Kendrick Perkins was used as an example of dirty play.  George Karl thinks Perk should be on the All-Defensive team.  This is what he said when he was asked about why the C’s were so good on D.

“Commitment and Kevin Garnett – and Perkins is good,” he added with a measure of emphasis. “I think he should be on the All-Defensive team.”

“I think he’s very good. Just the way he comes to the ball. He’s a pretty consistent person. With the speed and cuteness and tricks of the NBA, very seldom does he leave the basket unprotected.”

It’s completely random, but I like it.  I’d love to see Perk rewarded for his hard work and acceptance of his role.  And it would also shut up all those players who put Perk on top of that Sports Illustrated list of players who think they’re better than they are.

Herald:  Joy is back for MarburyTruth comes out… 14 years later |  Globe:  For their next act, Celtics try a little MagicFan Experience – Garden party |  Megliola:  rivalry long from over |  LA Times:  Celtics aren’t going away |  SI:  James trip-dub, Mo’s 29 lift Cavs over Heat

After the jump, Paul Pierce leaves a kid in a Cavs jersey hanging.

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That Was Ugly
February 20, 2009

It is safe to say there wasn’t anything pretty about this game, especially the fact that it ended at 1:30am.  The inability to grab the rebound off of Kirilenko’s second foul shot destroyed any chances of sending the game into overtime.  KG going down in the first half put pressure on the second unit to step up, but  Perk, Powe, and Scal got into foul trouble leaving a void down low.  The box score will tell the rest of the story.  As far as the story on  KG, his knee will be re-evaluated in Phoenix on Friday.

Rondo, to Perk, to KG
February 13, 2009

It’s the dunk of the night.

I think there should be a stat for the pass that leads to the assist.  Not quite the hockey-type deal where two guys get an assist on one play… but if you make  pass that IMMEDIATELY leads to a pass for a hoop… you should get some sort of statistical recognition for that.  I mean… doesn’t that often open up the passing lane for the next guy?

I don’t know… just a thought.

Also out there:  Rondo: the stuff legends are made of

Hit The Boards, Win The Game
February 7, 2009

Rebounding is not sexy, but you can make an argument that it’s the most important aspect of the game.  If you can keep the other team off the boards, then they’ll need to make an abnormally high percentage of shots.  If you can get to offensive rebounds, you can not only make up for a bad shooting night, you demoralize a team that has just worked hard to prevent a basket.

And no team does it better than the Celtics.  KG is a huge reason why.  So is Perk.  But its the guards that put the C’s over the top.  Says Perk

“You should see us in practice. They (the guards) get us bigs upset, taking all our rebounds. Man, every game Rajon Rondo gets a lot, Paul and Ray rebound a lot, even Eddie House comes in and gets six in game. Everybody on this team gets after it. “

Rajon always amazes me when he swoops in and grabs an offensive board.  I’m not kidding when I say that’s demoralizing.  You can sometimes even see guys’ shoulders slumping on the floor.

What’s Up With Perk?
February 7, 2009

Something’s not right with Perk. He’s not having “impact” games. Let’s look at the stats:

December – 31 mpg, 11.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 63% FG

January – 26 mpg, 6.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 58% FG

February – 30 mpg, 5.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2 bpg, 52% FG

The guy had a phenomenal December – 4 double-doubles, a 25 pt game vs Chi. But then came the shoulder injury on Christmas. He clearly hasn’t been the same player since. He doesn’t seem to have the same “touch” around the basket as earlier in the season. I realize the Celtics don’t need his points. But those occasional 14-16 pt nights help keep the defense honest.

Pierce’s reaction after he “only” scored 26 points in the Garden – as compared to Kobe’s 61 or LeBron’s 52 pts.

“My days of putting up big numbers [are] over with,” Pierce said. “I’m within the team concept; that’s the formula that we need to win. We don’t need one guy to go out and score 46 points; we rely on our teamwork, our extra passes, our defense.”

I want our readers to know we appreciate all the kind words recently bestowed upon this site (even though John’s ego is out of control). January was a record breaking month in terms of web traffic for Red’s Army. We are having a lot of fun and that will continue as long as the Celtics keep winning.

Today’s Links: Globe – Garnett Makes Up For Lost Time | Herald – C’s Back to Winning Ways | Cavs Pissed About Mo Williams Snub | Newsday – At Least It Was Entertaining| NYPost – Defending Champs Surge in 4th|Durant Leads OKC Past Oden’s Blazers | Suns Shop Amare & Shaq |

A supermodel named Nicole Trunfio was at last night’s Celtics/Knicks game. Here are some pics…

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Perk Fined 10K
February 1, 2009

Kendrick Perkins was fined $10,000 today… but not suspended.

Celtics center Kendrick Perkins said he was fined $10,000 by the NBA for a hard foul he had on Pistons forward Jason Maxiell during last Friday’s game in Auburn Hills, Mich. Perkins said he wasn’t disappointed by the fine since he thought he would get fined worse

The Foul
January 31, 2009